Few, if any, musical acts can claim to have had as steep a career trajectory as Lady Gaga over the past twelve months. After generating significant blog-hype and a sizeable online following, she managed the difficult task of converting this into commercial success and has barely been out of the papers or off the radio since.
Some contend that her music is mediocre but, although 'The Fame' is certainly patchy in parts, 'Poker Face' is, in my view, one of the finest pop songs of the past decade, while 'Just Dance' is certainly worthy of a 'highly commended' rosette.
Gaga's extreme outfits and outlandish performances might not tally with her pop-by-numbers music but, at a time when the mystique that 'stars' once possessed has been ravaged by reality TV, Heat magazine et al, I think it's refreshing to see someone so contradictory on numerous levels that she keeps the public guessing.
Yes, I appreciate that much of her zany behaviour is carefully engineered and that, behind the wacky facade, Lady Gaga is a highly-intelligent business-savvy entrepreneur. Even still, I can't help but admire her unfaltering commitment to the charade. She makes some of her predecessors and peers seem positively yawn-inducing and her influence on contemporary pop music is already evident.
Today 'Bad Romance', the lead single from forthcoming special-edition album 'Fame Monster', received its premiere:
The track is a sure-fire chart smash that's a damn sight better than the shoddy LQ version that had been floating around until now but it also sounds like most of her other stuff. The familiarity of the track means it's never going to be able to match the impact of hearing 'Poker Face' for the first time.
Hopefully once 'Fame Monster' is out of the way, Gaga will ditch her producer Red One and get to work on developing her sound a little more. In the meantime, I'm more than happy to switch on this track, turn up the volume and just dance.